- 5 questions
- 10 points each; no negatives
The idea was partly inspired by the
emergency dispatch center in St. Louis
according to its creator. A speech
impediment as a child kept him at home a
lot, where he would play on a computer and
listen to the police scanner. He found
himself fascinated by the short bursts of
talking used by law enforcement and
emergency personnel, ―They‘re always
talking about where they‘re going, what
they‘re doing and where they currently are.‖
Who or what idea?
The 1527 poem Scacchia, Ludus by Marco
Girolamo Vida give a mythical origin for it. In the
poem, Caïssa initially repels the advances of Mars.
Spurned, Mars seeks the aid of Euphron, brother
of Venus, who creates it as a gift for Mars to win
―Of armies on the chequer'd field array'd,
And guiltless war in pleasing form display'd;
When two bold kings contend with vain alarms,
In ivory this, and that in ebon arms;
Sing, sportive maids, that haunt the sacred hill
Of Pindus, and the fam'd Pierian rill.‖
What did Euphron create?
Caïssa is referred to in
chess commentary. Garry
Kasparov uses this
reference repeatedly in
his epic five-volume work
My Great Predecessors. It
is used as a substitute for
being fortunate – "Caïssa
was with me" – especially
in unclear situations, for
example in sacrifices.
Xanthippe pouring water over
Socrates. He‘s supposed to have replied
―After thunder comes rain.‖
Jemaa el-Fna is the main square and market
place in Marrakesh. It is known for its active
concentration of traditional activities by
storytellers, musicians, dancers and peddlers of
traditional medicines. At night, it fills with dozens
of food-stalls. It features in The Man Who Knew
Too Much (1956) and the No Quarter – Unledded
videos. In the early 2000s, it was threatened by
economic development pressures; but the locals
gathered together for its protection. What did
this movement inspire at an international level?
Masterpieces of the Oral and
Intangible Heritage of Humanity which
paved way for the UNESCO Intangible
Cultural Heritage Lists in 2008.
The Dreadnought hoax was a practical joke
pulled by Horace de Vere Cole in 1910 to trick the
Royal Navy into showing their flagship, the
warship HMS Dreadnought, to a supposed
delegation of Abyssinian royals. It drew attention
to the emergence of the Bloomsbury Group. Each
time the Commander showed them a marvel of
the ship, they murmured the phrase ―____‖. This
became a popular catchphrase for a time. It
caught the world‘s attention again around 2010
under scandalous circumstances. Actress Sabina
Began claimed that it was her nickname and the
origin of the phrase. What phrase?
- 18 questions
- +10 / -5 on the pounce
- +10 on the pass
Lt. Alexis Helmer was an officer in the
2nd Battery, 1st Brigade Canadian Field
Artillery. He was killed in action during the
Second Battle of Ypres on May 2, 1915. In
the absence of the chaplain, his friend (and
unit physician) conducted a simple service
at the graveside, reciting from memory
some passages from Order of Burial of the
Dead. His friend became famous for
something he did, possibly inspired by the
burial ground and its surroundings. Who
and what inspiration?
From a recent column by Jai Arjun
Singh: ‗In fact, the very first scene
in Bombay Talkies – in the short film
directed by Karan Johar – has a young man
angrily confronting his intolerant father who
can‘t accept, or perhaps even comprehend,
that his son is gay. (The film‘s title ―____‖
comes from one of the great Hindi-film
songs, a rendition of which is beautifully
used here, but it can also at a stretch be
translated as ―This is a queer tale‖.)‘ Identify
this classic 1960 song.
Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh (from the movie
Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai).
In 1996, Konrad
Maurer and his
medical record of this
(translated) from 1901
follows. What is this
person‘s claim to fame
or the significance of
this particular case?
"What is your name?"
"What is your husband's
She hesitates, finally
answers: "I believe ...
"How old are you?"
"Where do you live?"
"Oh, you have been to our
"Are you married?"
"Oh, I am so confused."
"Where are you right now?"
"Here and everywhere, here
and now, you must not
think badly of me."
"Where are you at the
"This is where I will live."
"Where is your bed?"
"Where should it be?"
Auguste Deter, the first recorded
diagnosis of Alzheimer‘s disease by Alois
Ardeshir Godrej, a pioneer locksmith,
took seed funding of Rs. 3000 from
Merwanji Cama, a friend of his father‘s in
1895. His lock-making business prospered
and he visited Cama again in 1910, to repay
the loan. Cama was ill and refused to accept
it since accepting the money would deprive
him of the joy he felt in having contributed
to Ardeshir‘s success. Cama did however
have a favor to ask: would Ardeshir hire
Cama‘s nephew? Ardeshir readily agreed.
Identify the nephew.
Boyce whom Ardreshir made a partner
and renamed the company as Godrej and
In 1919, two drama troupes were
camped at Amaravati. Both were playing
dramas based on the theme of disrobement
of Draupadi. X was in Draupadi‘s role in his
troupe and Y in the role of Aatmateja in his
troupe. The rasikas watched both plays and
wondered who was the greater of the two.
Dadasaheb Khaparde, the uncrowned king
of Varhaad and a connoisseur par
excellence, was absorbed in watching the
role of Aatmateja. He exclaimed, ―Hey tur
____ ____ aahet!‖. Identify X and Y.
Bal Gandharva and Sawai Gandharva.
Sawai in Marathi means ‗a notch above the
rest‘. The literal meaning is ‗one and a
quarter‘, i.e., ―If that is Bal Gandharva, this is
The lyrics of this 1976 Bob Marley song
is based on a unique event that happened
on 6 October, 1963. One could even say that
someone else has to get the rightful credits
for the lyrics. Identify the event.
It is a translation of the address made
in Amharic by Haile Selassie to the General
Assembly of the United Nations.
According to the Greek writer Athenaeus of
Naucratis, King Hiero II commissioned a huge
ship, the Syracusia, which could be used for
luxury travel, carrying supplies, and as a naval
warship. The Syracusia is said to have been the
largest ship built in classical antiquity. It was
capable of carrying 600 people and included
garden decorations, a gymnasium and a temple
dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite among its
facilities. A ship of this size leaked a considerable
amount of water through the hull. How did they
overcome the problem?
Archimedes‘ screw was purportedly
developed in order to remove the bilge
water. He designed the ship too.
The Boot Monument, in the Saratoga
National Historical Park in New York, is the only
war memorial in America that does not carry the
name of its honoree. The dedication on it reads,
―Erected 1887 By John Watts de Peyster Brev: Maj:
Gen: S.N.Y.2nd V. Pres't Saratoga Mon't Ass't'n: In
memory of the most brilliant soldier of the
Continental Army who was desperately wounded
on this spot the sally port of Borgoynes Great
Western Redoubt 7th October, 1777 winning for
his countrymen the decisive battle of the
American Revolution and for himself the rank of
Major General.‖ Who is it dedicated to?
Benedict Arnold. He is not mentioned
by name on the monument because several
years later the wounded Arnold turned
traitor to the United States and joined with
the British and their Loyalists.
Radio and television stations have
emergency backup systems designed to
switch on and play when they detect
malfunctions of a certain kind. On January
16, 2004, at the Barbican Centre in London,
the BBC technicians deliberately switched
off the backup systems during a live
broadcast on BBC Radio 3. This was the very
first time such a step was taken since the
inception of the system. What was
happening for the first time that prompted
The BBC Symphony Orchestra gave the
first orchestral performance of John Cage's
4'33". The emergency backup systems are
designed to switch on and play music
whenever apparent silence (dead air) lasting
longer than a preset duration is detected.
In 1972, he was hired by The Sunday Times Magazine as
an adviser on art and architecture based on his prior work at
Sotheby's. He interviewed the 93-year-old architect and
designer Eileen Gray in her Paris salon, where he noticed a map
of an area which she had painted. "I've always wanted to go
there," he told her. "So have I," she replied, "go there for me." In
December 1974, when he arrived there he severed himself from
the newspaper with a telegram: "Have gone to ____.― His
acclaimed work based on the experience was published in 1977.
One of the first high-profile people in Britain to have died of
AIDS, Salman Rushdie was attending his memorial service on
the day the fatwa was announced on him. Identify him. Also
identify the place where a famous 16th century visitor noticed
that the average height of the people was about 180 cm
(~5′11″) compared to the 155 cm (~5′1″) of his countrymen.
Bruce Chatwin. Patagnoia.
The name Patagonia comes from the word
―patagón‖ used by Magellan in 1520 to
describe the native people that his
expedition thought to be giants.
It originally consisted of fifty members
which were later reduced to twelve by
Sophocles, then increased to fifteen
members by Euripides in tragedies. There
were twenty-four members in comedies. In
Aeschylus‘ Agamemnon, it comprises the
elderly men of Argos, whereas in Euripides‘
The Bacchae, they are a group of eastern
bacchants, and in Sophocles‘ Electra, it is
made up of the women of Argos. What are
we talking about?
View from the Window at Le Grasby by
Nicéphore Niépce, the oldest surviving
According to an apocryphal story, this
person was noted for false modesty in
scientific circles. A rival named a new unit
for the quantitative measure of conceit after
him. According to him (who supposedly
narrated this to the former), one ____ was an
exceedingly large amount of conceit; for
most purposes, the practical unit was to be
one-thousandth of ____. Identify the unit or
tell us the after whom it was named.
It originally referred to an Italian
confectionery. Also called dragée, these
were almonds (later coriander) with a hard
sugar coating. The tradition is to give them
out at weddings – they are said to represent
the hope that the new couple will have a
fertile marriage. The British adopted the
name for a replacement in such functions
and it entered the English language. The
Italian word for the English equivalent is
coriandoli which refers to the coriander
seeds contained within them. What word?
Stephen Fried recently apologized (―to all
users of language for my crime against
nomenclature‖) for coining it in his 1993
biography Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of
Supermodel Gia: ―Twenty years ago, I apparently
changed language forever. I published a book
that unleashed upon an unsuspecting public a
single word of terrifying power and controversy.
That word is ____ [...] Since I was re-reading a lot
of the newspapers and magazines from the
period of Gia‘s supernova career in the late ‗70s
and early ‗80s, and remembering a lot of
coverage of Sandanistas, I just decided to try it.‖
The trade name of the Aluminium bat used
by Dennis Lillee was ComBat. The game
played by the jugglers is called Combat.
The stretching of the muscle spindle in the
quadriceps produces a signal which travels to the
spinal cord and synapses at the level of L4 in the
spinal cord, completely independent of higher
centres. From there, an alpha-motor neuron
conducts an efferent impulse back to the
quadriceps femoris muscle, triggering
contraction. This contraction is coordinated with
the relaxation of the antagonistic flexor hamstring
muscle. The resulting proprioception helps
maintain posture and balance. What simple term
was used for this by Sir Michael Foster in his
Textbook of Physiology in 1877?
It is a Thai royal and noble title
translated as ―Grand Duke―. It is the most
senior rank commonly granted and is
normally bestowed upon commoners who
served as Ministers of State. The title has
been awarded to at least one foreigner: ____
Abhai Raja (Gustave Henri Ange Hippolyte
Rolin-Jaequemyns, a Belgian attorney at law,
diplomat who served as an advisor to King
Rama V). The same name was applied to
another entity where it was used to signify
its importance. What?
Chao Phraya (also a major river in
- 18 questions
- +10 / -5 on the pounce
- +10 on the pass
Though Tasman and Cook had sighted
them earlier and even landed on some of
the outer islands, which is considered the
first European craft to properly pass through
the Fiji islands? They did not dare stop at
the islands though, for fear of coming
Captain Bligh‘s boat after being set adrift
(NOT the Bounty itself)
Air Chief Marshall Sir Trafford _______ was Air
C-in-C of the Allied invasion of Normandy. Later,
in Nov 1944, en route to Ceylon to take up the
post of Air C-in-C South East Asia, his plane
crashed in the Alps, making him the most senior
RAF officer killed in WW2. One would expect his
elder brother, a schoolmaster who died in 1924,
to be less well-known but it is he whom we
remember as a modern-day hero. Identify this
brother, who re-entered public consciousness in a
sensational way again in 1999, through a
discovery in the Indian sub-continent.
George Mallory (who for many years had
been to higher altitudes than his pilot
July 30th 1993, at 20:40, the hands of the
two people touched under the runway of a city’s
airport. There was a brief hug to celebrate and
then it was back to work. In code it was known as
D-B after Dobrinja and Butmir. People laughed at
that because those letters were the same as the
ones used for the secret service in the old
Yugoslavia. For the people of the city, it remains a
symbol of courage and survival. For others it was
a place of torture. There are no road signs to it,
but it receives countless visits, it's searched for,
found, looked at and admired. What is it?
Tunnel to connect the cut-off city of
Sarajevo to its airport in a UN-controlled
Fill in the blanks to get the title of the F.
Scott Fitzgerald short story that starts off by
describing a rather unremarkable boy:
Jo Powell was a _____. Much as I desire to make
him an appealing character, I feel that it would
be unscrupulous to deceive you on that point.
He was a bred-in-the-bone, dyed-in-the-wool,
ninety-nine three-quarters per cent _____ and
he grew lazily all during _____ season, which is
every season, down in the land of the _____
well below the Mason-Dixon line.
The same term is used in the semiconductor
industry in a similar vein, a ―_____"
component is one which is widely available,
used generically in many applications, and
has no very unusual characteristics—as
though it might be grabbed out of a jar in
handfuls when needed, like _____.
The name of this game translates to
―coconut snatching‖. If you idly wonder if
the second word in its name shows that it is
derived from rugby, you will be reminded
that it is much much older than that
Identify this game, and secondly, it is said to
have started as a ceremonial enactment of
which incident from mythology?
The devas & asuras playing rugby with the
pot of amrit
These are the first lines of a poem written in
1959. It was written to express the poet‘s
disappointment on hearing views like ―this man
went and spat in the face of the people‖, ―[a pig]
never shits where it eats― etc. expressed about his
achievement. What is this poem titled?
Like a beast in a pen, I'm cut off
From my friends, freedom, the sun,
But the hunters are gaining ground.
I've nowhere else to run.
Dark wood and the bank of a pond,
Trunk of a fallen tree.
There's no way forward, no way back.
It's all up with me.
Am I a gangster or murderer?
Of what crime do I stand
Condemned? I made the whole world weep
At the beauty of my land…..
Even so, one step from my grave,
I believe that cruelty, spite,
The powers of darkness will in time
Be crushed by the spirit of light.
Murali Vijay scored a double century on
the first day of Tamil Nadu‘s Nov 2008 Ranji
match against Maharashtra. By the fourth
and final day, the match was heading for a
tepid draw. What did he do on that day?
Made his Test debut
Replacing Gautam Gambhir who had been
given a one-match ban
On Sunday 21 April 2013, three ultra low-
cost satellites rode into space and were launched
on the maiden flight of Orbital Science Corp.'s
Antares rocket from NASA's Wallops Island Flight
Facility in Virginia. They were part of an
experiment to see if a consumer-grade ______ can
be used as the main flight avionics for a satellite
in space. They took pictures of the earth and
transmitted them as data packets to NASA
ground stations. The three satellites were named
after the person who created the first generation
of these objects in the second half of the 19th
century. What were these three names?
Born Francesco della Rovere, he joined the
Francescan Order as a young man and sharpened
his intellectual qualities, rising to the top of the
order in 1464. He was elected Pope in 1471,
apparently a big factor being his unworldliness.
He continued the system of slavery and nepotism
that earlier popes followed. In 1478 he issued a
papal bull through which the Spanish Inquisition
was established in Castile. Diary records of the
day noted that he was a "lover of boys and
sodomites‖. He built the first new bridge across
the Tiber since antiquity. But what is it that we all
remember him for to this day?
The cake on the
cover of Let It
Bleed was baked
by the then
Smith, who is a
majority owner of
Holger Brandt, a famous virtuoso violinist, meets
Anita Hoffman, his daughter's piano instructor, during
a trip home. A passionate relationship ensues. Holger's
wife asks him for a divorce. Torn with guilt for breaking
up this family, Anita decides to pursue her own career
and leaves Holger. And he returns home to see his
children again. After some melodrama including an
accident to their daughter, his wife forgives Holger and
welcomes him back into his family.
This is the plotline of a movie that was made on both
sides of the Atlantic, with the same star in both. The
title refers to a composition which fits between other
musical or dramatic entities, such as acts of a play or
movements of a larger musical work. Name?
The struggle between the East and
West coast of USA for cultural, academic,
scientific, and economic supremacy now has
a new feature, as the East Coast prepares to
compete with the West Coast for the
lucrative shipping lines coming from
Asia. What in-progress development,
costing $5 billion, is expected to tip the
current balance of power?
The expansion of the Panama Canal will
allow post-Panamax ships through directly
to the East coast
Oxygen can be generated from water using
electrolysis. The hydrogen produced is discarded. As O2
is consumed, CO2 is produced which must be removed
from the air and discarded as well. This approach
requires copious amounts of water. So the reaction
below, which can recover water from the exhaled CO2,
held promise as it forms a more closed cycle. A machine
was supplied by Hamilton Sundstrand and installed in
Apr 2010 at a specific location under a novel contract
based on the amount of water it actually produces. The
reaction is named after a French organic chemist who
shared the 1912 Nobel prize for work in catalytic organic
synthesis. Name him and where the machine was
2H2O → O2 + 2H2 → (respiration) → CO2 + 2H2 +
2H2 (added) → 2H2O + CH4 (discarded)
About 16km south of Buxar, this town
on the UP/Bihar border was the site of Sher
Shah Suri‘s victory over Humayun in 1539.
That‘s reason enough to know its name, but
legend also has it that Sher Shah named his
favourite variety of a particular fruit to
commemorate this victory. The variety is still
very popular as an export to Europe & USA.
Immanuel Kant used the name of an
ancient mythological figure to coin a phrase
to refer to a contemporary scientist of his
time. The phrase was apt, because the
scientist was seen to have aided the human
cause in the very way the mythological
figure had. A few decades later, a writer
used the same phrase while coming up with
the title for a novel. There has been much
speculation over the similarity between the
names of the scientist and the novel‘s
protagonist. Identify both of them.
These are translations from Sanskrit of some
verses of prayer. What are they collectively called
and what are they said to exhaustively comprise?
Victory to the singing of the names of Krishna,
Which cleans the dirt from the mirror of the heart,
Which puts out the fire of the pain of day today life,
Which spreads the cooling rays of moon everywhere,
Which is the knowledge accumulated by the holy,
Which increases the sea of happiness for ever,
Which makes us taste , fully the divine nectar,
And which is eagerly desired by all beings.
You have several millions of names,
Which can give real strength to all beings,
And you do not have any rules to chant them,
And this shows me that you are merciful towards me,
But I being unfortunate am not attracted by them.
We should constantly sing the names of Hari,
With more humility than a dried grass,
With more tolerance than a tree,
And with a mind without false prestige.
I do not wish for wealth or followers,
I do not wish for pretty women,
Oh Lord of the entire universe,
But I want to dedicate this life,
And all life after it is in your service.
I am your slave, Oh son of Nanda,
But fallen deep in this sea of birth and death,
So please pick me up from here,
And make me in to a dust of,
Your lotus like feet.
When will tears fall form my eyes,
When will my face choke up,
And when will my hairs stand erect,
When I hear the recitation of your names.
When I am not with you Govinda,
Every minute appears like an age,
My eyes shed tears like rain,
And the entire world appears empty.
My soul will be with him without
Even if he chides me with dirty words,
Even if he breaks my heart by not being
And do as he likes anything and
(teachings in eight
The only verses left
that were written
In monthly flag meetings between China
and India at the Nathu La border, the Chinese set
aside a chair for this member of the Punjab
Regiment. Taxi drivers and soldiers passing
through the area generally stop to pay their
respects to him. The Indian army has awarded
him promotions regularly. He is now a Captain.
He is given annual leave to go home (Kuka village
in Kapurthala district) on Sept 16th every year,
accompanied by two soldiers from the Sikkim
border. They travel with him by train to Jalandhar,
where an Army vehicle picks him up. Name him
and what is unusual about all this?